Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Shoes & Trampled Relationships

Do you have a shoe preference? Some people are serious about name brands. Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, THE NORTH FACE, Eddie Bauer, Bata, etc., are well-known brands in stores today. Wearing only UnderArmour apparel to the gym makes quite a statement. Recently I have been researching the history of footwear in the 1920s. Below is an intriguing story of two brothers with one similarity: shoemaking.

Adolf (Adi) and Rudolf Dassler were both born in Herzogenaurach, Germany and grew up working in their father's shoe factory. In the 1920s, at the end of WWI, Adi established his own shoe factory and was shortly accompanied by his brother in the business. They began their work in their mother's small laundry, occasionally using the pedal-power of a stationary bike when the town electric was unreliable. In 1936 Adi traveled to the Summer Olympics with a suitcase full of spikes and convinced U.S. athlete Jesse Owens to wear them. Owens did wear them while sprinting and won four gold medals. Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) was booming. Over 200,000 shoes were sold annually.

Jesse Owens

As Hitler gained power in the start of WWII, Adi and Rudolf joined the Nazi Party. Rudolf, however, was more involved-- a known National Socialist. He was drafted and then captured. Rudolf believed Adi turned him over the American Troops and despised him for it. Meanwhile Adi manufactured boots for Germany's Armed Forces and then left the Nazi party. The brothers' business split. As did the town of Herzogenaurach. Adi renamed his business Adidas, and Rudolf founded his own company, Puma, across the river on the other side of town. Rivalry was fierce. The controversy led to the football teams endorsing one but not the other. Strangers were judged by the brand they wore. Herzogenaurach was nicknamed "the town of bent necks". Repairmen in Rudolf's house were offered a pair of free Pumas because they would deliberately wear Adidas shoes in his home. Shoes were selected in support of preferred politics. In the first German national football game after WWII, many of the West German national team wore Pumas, including Herbert Burdenski, who scored the first post-war goal. During the Summer Olympics of 1952, Puma's first Olympic gold medal was won by Luxembourg's Josy Barthel in Finland. Just eight years later Rudolf Dassler paid German sprinter Armin Hary to wear Pumas in the Olympics final sprint. Armin, who previously wore Adidas requested payment from Adi, who refused. Armin agreed to Rudolf's proposition. Armin completed the race in first place, but changed into his Adidas to receive his medal. Both brothers were astounded and rumors have it that neither companies paid the "world's fastest champion" of the day.

The Dassler brothers never reconciled. Although in the same cemetery, Adi and Rudolf were buried as far apart as possible. Was their bitterness worth it? Isn't it pathetic how hard work and talent are overridden by money and politics in sports today? The most well-paid athletes are royalty. Purchase quality over popularity.

References: Wikipedia/Google

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What a Righteous Man Really Thinks

“Godly womanhood ... the very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other type of women: beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women. But so seldom do we hear of a godly woman - or of a godly man either, for that matter.We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife, than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realms of morals to be old-fashioned, than to be ultra-modern. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct.”

― Peter Marshall

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Life Without Luck

St. Patrick Snake 

Holidays are really beginning to bother me.  As each decade passes, people know less and less about the truth of what is being celebrated. Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Independance Day have become famous events of spending and eating. Honorable people and values are all but forgotten as we Americans please ourselves in the festivities of being off work.  What is the point?

Presently we are in the midst of the 4-leaf clover, go-green, lucky-charm month. What is Saint Patrick's Day? Or rather WHO was Saint Patrick? An Irish mascot or legend? The luckiest man who ever lived? Over the years people have contorted truth and made idolatrous lies about individuals of noble character. Today most people know nothing of this person, Patrick --and the commercialism and superstition of this holiday continues to grow.

St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. Calpornius, his father, was a deacon, his grandfather Potitus a priest, from Banna Venta Berniae. Patrick, however, was not an active believer. According to The Confession of St. Patrick, at the age of just sixteen Patrick was captured by a group of Irish pirates. The raiders brought Patrick to Ireland where he was enslaved and held captive for six years. Patrick writes in The Confession that the time he spent in captivity was critical to his spiritual development. He explains that the Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance, and afforded him the opportunity to be forgiven of his sins and converted to Christianity. While in captivity, Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer eventually leading him to convert to Christianity.

After six years of captivity he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away, where he found a ship and with difficulty persuaded the captain to take him. After three days sailing they landed, presumably in Britain, and apparently all left the ship, walking for 28 days in a "wilderness", becoming faint from hunger before encountering a herd of wild boar; since this was shortly after Patrick had urged them to put their faith in God, his prestige in the group was greatly increased. After various adventures, he returned home to his family, now in his early twenties.After returning home to Britain, Saint Patrick continued to study Christianity, and eventually returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. (Wikipedia)

This man was not a red-bearded man with a pot o'gold and luck, but a man of character. The beloved words of the hymn, Be Thou My Vision, were actually written as a tribute to St. Patrick's loyalty in worship despite an Irish king's edict that restricted candle-lighting on Easter.  Although lengthy, the link below is truth worth reading and applying to our own perspective of holidays. This is what Patrick wrote of himself: The Confession of Saint Patrick

If interested in the history of Valentine's Day, Click Here
If interested in the history of Halloween, Click Here

Sunday, March 2, 2014

*Percent Daily Values are Based on a 24.7 Diet

             Oil                               Air                           Pure Water

Which of these bottles is empty? In reality none of them are, for the one without liquid is full of air. Our lives are like bottles that cannot be empty. Either our living is fulfilled in evil or in righteousness. What does your life contain? Does it affect others?
Let us say my life contains evil that I want to be rid of. “Pouring” air into my bottle will not easily remove the oil. That would take a lot of pressure! Rather I should replace the slimy substance with something heavier, like water. For example, let us further say I have a rapidly-evident addiction to food. Sitting at the table, staring at the refrigerator will not change my detestable lifestyle. No, I must replace my time and love with something else. I must renew my mind with the truth and consequence of my actions and respond differently to my desires. Not until I love something more will I be capable of sacrificing my actions.
Earlier I stated that our lives can only be filled with evil or righteousness. Isn't there an in-between? While there are many percentages of pollution, only pure water is 100% pure. Even a few molecules of ink will taint pure water.
How many of us can claim to have drunk pure water? Even if factories could produce it, once the seal is broken the percentage falls. Once we are born our lives are exposed to evil. Is it possible then to live an uncontaminated life? Not by our own doing. We must be cleaned and placed in a clean atmosphere. That is not something we have in this world. Thankfully God is beyond this sin-cursed earth and offers purity to any who would accept and trust it to be what He promises. Once in His hands we are broken and given new vessels to fill. He seals us so that nothing can contaminate us. Our vessels may become dirty on the outside, but our hearts are protected by the unfailing grace of God.

“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. There is none righteous, no, not one...” Proverbs 16:2; Romans 3:10

“...our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. You... He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” 1 Corinthians 1:8; Colossians 1:22

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 1:13;14; 4:30

“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:14